Have you ever noticed that the harder you try to talk someone into something, the more resistance you get?
Sometimes your attempt to talk people into something can have the opposite effect.
For example, you tell a friend to cut back on sugar to lose weight, and they end up eating more sugar than they normally would.
Why does this happen?
It feels unpleasant when others take away our freedom to choose. It’s called psychological reactance.
And yet salespeople try to talk people into things all the time.
When people smell your commission breath, you get resistance.
What’s the way out?
Stop talking people into things :-).
Ironically, the best way to persuade is not to persuade.
Instead, plant a seed and allow other people to have their own thoughts.
By way of example lets you want to do an Ironman and have a family.
For the uninitiated, an Ironman consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a marathon 26.22-mile run raced in that order.
Most triathletes spend 20+ hours training per week for an Ironman. That puts a serious strain on relationships with your spouse, friends, and family. You lose your Sundays.
Triathletes have a tongue and cheek saying, “If you’re not divorced, you didn’t train hard enough.”
Imagine that one day, you get a cold call from Coach Lisa.
Coach Lisa has developed an Ironman training program that allows you to cross the finish line strong without spending 20+ hours/week training. You’re able to get your Sundays back.
Here’s what a non-persuasion cold call sounds like:
“Hi Josh, Coach Lisa, We’ve never met, but I say you’re a member of Boca Tri and was hoping to speak with you briefly. Do you have two minutes?”
“Thanks. The reason for my call is that many Ironman athletes I work with say they’re spending 20+ hours/week training. I call that divorce by triathlon -:).”
Poke the Bear
“Just out of curiosity, how are you balancing work/family life with Ironman training?”
Seed planted. Conversation started.
Then shut the front door.
Be curious about how the prospect is currently getting the job done without having an ulterior motive. When you detach from the outcome, you disarm people.
Peel the onion. Use mirrors and label to make people feel heard and understood.
People rarely believe what salespeople tell them, but they always believe what they conclude for themselves.
Ditch the pitch.
Poke the bear.